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  1. #1

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    Zaleski questions

    I am just introducing my wife to backpacking, and we were looking to do an overnight in Zaleski State Forest in Ohio. I noticed a bunch of HF folk do group hangs there, so I figured you would be able to answer a couple of basic questions. I got the trail map and description from backpackohio.com, so I know the basic layout.

    Campsites: I realize that there are fixed campsites, but I am not a big fan of sharing campsites if I can help it. Are the campsites a "hub and spoke" kind of thing, with many places to tent or camp at each site that are somewhat isolated from the others, or are they just one site? If I get there and it is full of scouts or drunk frat guys, am I out of luck in terms of getting some solitude? I assume weekdays are better than weekends? Are there any campsites that are less crowded than others? I asked a guy I know who owns a well-respected outfitter. He takes rookie backpackers there frequently. He says you can camp anywhere that is more than 300 ft from the trail, but everything on the Ohio DNR website says you are confined to the official sites. I practice LNT, and don't mind finding my own site, but I am a rule follower. If you aren't allowed to stealth, I won't unless its an emergency.

    Water: I don't know why, but I don't really like the idea of counting on the state-filled cisterns for water. Are there enough stream crossings to skip the cisterns? (I have a Sawyer squeeze that I just converted to gravity.)

    Best two day trip: Where do you like to park and what route/campsites do you recommend?

    Thanks in advance for all of your help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member HamMike's Avatar
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    You should be able to get some degree of solitude at each area. They all seem to involve several clearings that are connected with pathways. You can see and hear other campers through the woods. I've never seen any "frat" partiers out there. Alcohol is prohibited so I don't think they gravitate toward the Zaleski backpack trail. The water is great. There are some streams but it's just not nessesary. You could filter the stuff at the campsites through your sawyer for good measure. If you park at the trailhead C is just a couple miles and makes for a good starter.
    "He who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man." Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

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  3. #3
    Senior Member HamMike's Avatar
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    If you want to camp at H but don't want to hike far there is an option. Stop and register at the trailhead. Park on Big Four rd in the little pulloff to the right about a hundred feet up the road. Be sure to leave a note on your dash stating that you are registered at the trailhead and what site you are camping . Walk down Big Four rd and cross to the other side of 278. Go left up 278 about a hundred yards and look for marker M at the edge of the woods. That will take you to G where you will take the connector trail to H. It's about a mile from G to H. H is a nice camp area. It has a large central site with three or four smaller spots around it. The north loop makes a great day hike.
    "He who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man." Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

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  4. #4

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    Thanks, Hammike. I appreciate the advice. I think we will go for it and figure it out. It seems like a good place. I heard there is mine run off in some of the streams, which is why they truck in water. I am excited to see if my wife can get addicted to my habit. Time will tell.

  5. #5
    Senior Member HamMike's Avatar
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    It's a great area. I'm headin down in a little bit for an overnighter as a matter of fact. It's kinda my default backpacking area. just under a 2 hour drive for me, maybe less.
    "He who makes a beast of himself, gets rid of the pain of being a man." Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

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